A dream trip to Cabo could be what ends Elsie and Tommy’s relationship. Trouble rears its ugly head at the airport when it turns out that Tommy’s mother, Linette, got first-class tickets for everyone but Elsie, who’s booked in coach. Tommy fails to convince Elsie to go on the trip. He goes to Elsie’s place to try to iron things out. Instead, they agree to end their doomed relationship. Tommy wonders if he can walk away from her. From everything they’ve been through, and the relationship they’ve painstakingly built together. Start Elsie and Tommy’s story here – Not Even Cabo – Will This Vacation Be What Ends It? – Part 1
Four days after the airport drama
It was four days after they agreed to end it like the rational adults they were… on occasion. Elsie was done crying and was fully immersed in the angry distract yourself phase of the breakup. She was seated on the floor in her living room listening to angry ‘men ain’t shit’ music while organizing her tangled-up jewellery.
When the doorbell rang, her immediate feeling was irritation, followed closely by the impulse to ignore it. She arrested those negative feelings and walked to the door. When she pulled it open, only to find Tommy leaning on the wall, she was reminded of the importance of listening to her intuition.
The first thing Tommy noticed was the loud, angry music blaring from her apartment, followed closely by the minute shorts she was wearing. He couldn’t deal with the shorts now, he thought, dragging his eyes off her naked thighs, and peering into her chaotic apartment. At least she was handling the breakup as poorly as he was.
“Yikes, should I come back later?”
“It only gets worse, but if you’re willing to risk it, who am I to stop you?”
He turned to her and smiled. “I’m willing to risk all manner of things when it comes to you.”
She muted the music, completely unamused. “What do you want, Tommy?”
Her tone left no room for lightness, and he tensed up. “I’d like to talk. Can I please come in?”
“I thought we did that yesterday, conclusively too.”
“Something new came up.”
She stepped back, and he walked in. He couldn’t help his smile when he saw all her mixed-up jewellery on a mat on the floor. It was so her. He turned when he heard movement behind him and found her locking the door with the latch right at the top.
“You haven’t fixed the door.”
She gave him a blank look as if daring him to say something else along those lines.
He felt fear flood his insides. This was never going to work. She would never go for it. She was too angry. Too hurt. And she was right.
He reached for her hand before he freaked out further and led her to her favourite seat. Tommy pulled a stool and sat before her, her hand ensconced in both of his. He reached down and kissed it. She pulled back and folded her hands.
This was not going to be easy.
“You know, I’ve never been in a relationship this long. I’ve never met someone who I liked and who liked me back and who made something this beautiful with me. I’ve never had this… this companionship with anyone and if I’m honest… I don’t think I’ll get it again. I know you deserve so much better than a cowardly guy. I know. I just…” He took a deep breath to arrest his nervous rumbling. “Remember when we had that huge fight at Stevo’s and you said being sensitive was your weakness and I just have to deal with that? Why can’t this be my weakness?”
Elsie sighed, shaking her head. “So, your solution to all this is I should just shut up and take your mother’s cruelty because you’re a coward and that’s your weakness?”
“No. You don’t have to come to do any more family things with me. Ever. I mean it.”
She was silent.
He reached for her hand and brought it to his chest. “I don’t want to lose you… I … I can’t. Please, just…” his voice breaking, “I love you and you love me and we’re good together, we’re phenomenal. Why can’t that be enough?”
“I can’t just avoid your family. That’s not a solution.”
She cut him off but didn’t sound angry, just tired, resigned. “It just isn’t. You know it’s not. That can’t work. Remember when you had the accident, and she was always at your place the entire time? We all were. There’s no way to keep us apart forever. As long as we share you, we’ll meet, and our lives will intersect. This is not a plan, babe.”
They were both silent.
“I can’t lose you.” He finally said. “And I can’t change my parents.”
Tommy fell silent once more, deep in thought. “When I was a kid, I thought they were just trying to toughen us up. There’s nothing easy about reckoning with the fact that your parents are just not good people. I know a braver, more evolved person would walk away, but I’m not that person. They’re my parents and I love them, and I don’t want to walk away… I don’t think I can even if I wanted to. Nothing I say will change anything. They’re not going to change. But I promise you, I will. I hate that I didn’t do anything before and I’m sorry I kept putting you around them. All that ends now. No more pressuring you to do family things with me. You don’t have to put yourself in situations like those ever again. If you’re forced to meet, that’ll be different, but I won’t push it anymore. If we move in together, she won’t come to our place. If I die, I’ll specify in my will that you have to be there as my partner. I’ll speak to a lawyer and make it clear that you’re my partner if there’s something like that. I don’t know what else to do… You’re it for me, Elsie. I don’t want anybody else. I chose you at the airport and I’m going to keep choosing you. I need you to know that.”
He kissed her hand once more, holding it close, alternating between looking at their hands and looking into her eyes.
“I need to think about it.”
He nodded, overcome with relief.
“I’ll tell you when I… decide.”
He stood up, and she walked him to the door. He turned and faced her, leaning on the door. “Do you open the door for everyone in these minuscule shorts?”
She burst out in surprised laughter. “Yes.”
He smiled. “You only take them off for me, though, right?”
She smiled. “You wish.”
“I do wish.”
She smiled and drew him down for a hug. They held the embrace, both unwilling to let go. Finally, he pulled back and gave her a quick kiss on the cheek.
How will Elsie respond to Tommy’s proposal? Keep reading: Not Even Cabo: Unspoken Wounds Part 8
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